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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > My rabbits broke up? *UPDATE*
Last Post by Stickerbunny at 2/24/2012 5:16 PM (26 Replies)
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User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/05/2012 9:34 AM

My two have been "arguing" the last few days, but I figured it was just the normal stuff (which they do every so often) and it would pass over. They have preferred to eat apart, flop apart, but at night they still cuddle up to sleep and Powder groomed Stickers last night like normal before bed. Today however, it broke out into a full on fight - well, sorta... Powder doesn't have a mean bone in his body, so he just ran but Stickers attacked him. She ran up to him and bit him and he ran away, then she chased him and bit him again before I could get to her, she got a chunk of fur but thankfully no skin (yay for Powder being so full of fur he's always shedding). Powder went to his closet to hide from her and I shut the door so she couldn't get back at him, a few hours later I tried to reintroduce them and offer craisins but she ignored the craisins (NEVER HAPPENS!) and attacked him again. First time I have ever heard Powder make a noise besides when he honked and it was a light scream.

Nothing happened that I am aware of (they were right behind me in the living room when it started, Powder was eating hay and Stickers was flopped out under the bird cage). She just went nuts and attacked him - then she ran under the bird cage and was charging/grunting at me if I got anywhere near. She's never shown this level of aggression. I took the bird cage away from where she can reach (though, they usually sleep flopped under it cuddled up together...) and she's calmer (not trying to attack me at least), but could that have just been it? And now she's too mad at Powder to forgive him? Or...

They've been bonded successfully living together 24/7 for like 6 months. She did just turn 1, could it be bunny puberty? I'm confused why she went from adoring him and begging him for grooms all the time to wanting to kill him. Poor Powder is too, he's moping by the door to the room she's in but too scared if he even sees her to do anything but bolt and hide.

Both are altered and have been for a while - she was spayed at 6 months and Powder was neutered and I bonded them and it went fine and I've had a cuddly pair that do bunny 500s and binkies together since then, until today. 

Should I start the bonding process over from scratch now? 

Edit: She's locked in their room and Powders in the living room now with us so I can watch him, but she's roaming around their room sniffing every place that has his scent with an aggressive posture, tail up and the same body language as when she was chasing him.


User is Offline Huckleberry
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2/05/2012 9:40 AM
Maybe Stickers isn't feeling well. You might need to get her to a vet, just to rule out any possible tooth problems or something.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/05/2012 10:19 AM
Have you tried putting them together since this episode?

User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/05/2012 10:47 AM

Yes, I reintroduced them a few hours after the initial attack and she tried to attack him again.  

Edit: She was just at the vet at the beginning of Dec for her UTI checkup, he did a full checkup (minus cultures/blood work) on her late Nov and nothing was wrong then - he said clean bill of health, except a redness in the nose/sneezing which he gave us Baytril for. Do you think it could be medical, given how short it's been since her last checkup? She's showing no symptoms, eating fine, no tooth grinding like she's in pain, was doing bunny 500s this morning until she freaked out and attacked him.

 


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/05/2012 10:53 AM
Were they in their enclosure or are they free roam?

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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2/05/2012 10:56 AM
A sudden change in behaviour like that leads me to think maybe a vet visit could be in order. Bonds usually don't break like that. Maybe one or the other is sick.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/05/2012 10:58 AM

They are free roam, Powder can't be put in a cage or he has a severe panic attack, so they have a "bunny room" - they were in the living room at the time though when the first attack happened and I tried to reintroduce them in "their" room in case something in the living room had sparked it. I was using craisins to distract cause they usually think of nothing but craisins when they are offered, so figured she wouldn't try to chase him... but as soon as she saw them, all she cared about was trying to eat him. :s Should I try to reintroduce them in a neutral area, as if they were a new bond?

Edit: I guess I should also mention their bond was never that "loving" - Powder groomed her, but she would never groom him. She is a bit dominant / bullying at times, stealing lettuce right out of his mouth when they eat their salads, but he is so docile he just puts up with her. She also stole all his favorite sleeping spots, just because he liked them, but he just flopped out in other spots and never argued with her about it. They cuddle, but she is for sure "the boss" in the family.


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/05/2012 11:13 AM
There is always a dominant one and many bonds aren't always "loving" so I wouldn't worry about that aspect.

I think I would do exactly what you are suggesting. Maybe take out any hidey places too in their room - I had a pair of rabbits that I bonded for an adopter and she said that they had begun fighting so she brought them to me and it took me awhile to figure out that the female would get upset and aggressive with any of the tubes, hidey boxes, etc...she was a large girl though and I think she hated she couldn't get into these spaces while the male was smaller and could. We took them away and voila, all was well again. And this pair had been bonded for a good long time.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/05/2012 11:28 AM

The room they are in is the master bedroom, with a closet they have turned into a den - she's arranged everything to be kind of a "hidey" spot in there, should I block that off as well you think (if I can get them to stand being in the same room again)? She has her blankets, two pet beds, etc in there and they used to like to sleep in the "corner" provided by the wall cause it's all dark and closed in and much like a natural den would be for them. Stickers is a tiny thing and can fit in them all, but Powder enjoys them more than she does, he's always crawling into their tunnel and making such a big playful fuss. She's more the "hide away from everything so people have to search for me" tunnel user.

If that isn't successful, I guess I will be talking to the vet. Thanks guys.  



User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/05/2012 11:57 AM
I think first give that a try and then if you don't find that to be successful, you may want to start the bonding process again.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/06/2012 8:00 AM
Well, I took away all the hidey spots and she still hates him - I let them meet and she attacked him, I sprayed her with water and she stopped, they went to different sides of the space and I ended it, then I put the baby gate up between them like I did when they first started bonding and she tried to attack him through that while he was trying to groom her through it.

I guess i'll call the vet about her and start the bonding process over, though, honestly I am not sure ... Powder was having so much fun last night being free roam, being allowed to wake me up to pet him at 5am, they both have instantly started using their litter boxes again as soon as they separated (which they haven't done since being bonded), he got to eat a vine ball (she usually steals them from him) and was doing binkies and bunny 500s all morning (usually he does a couple and gets "the look" and has to stop and flop by her for a cuddle). Not sure I want to put him through bonding again just to be bullied by Miss. Diva.

If both come back clean bills of health, do you think it would be best to rebond, or let them just each have their own space?

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/06/2012 8:21 AM
I think I would just let them have their own space for awhile and then try rebonding them again.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/06/2012 8:39 AM
Ok, thanks - just need to buy a rug for her, since she's on hardwood and can't get traction for zoomies/binkies of her own!

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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2/07/2012 2:23 AM
I'm in agreement with those who say get them both checked by the vet. I think she could be sick, or even he may be and she is smelling it and it upsets her. I know it's an effort to bring them both in for an exam, but I believe a sudden change in behavior, especially aggression, is an indicator of a problem in health. Better to know and then take the bonding advice after you've ruled it out.

(Also, notice if you've changed anything that would cause him to smell differently. Like if he roamed someplace that you sprayed and got a strange scent on him. Just an off the wall idea.)
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
3456 posts Send Private Message
2/07/2012 3:32 AM
I'll be calling the vet but since neither of them are showing any symptoms whatsoever, I am not holding out hope that it is going to be a simple get treatment for whatever is wrong and they like each other again.

No weird droppings, pee is perfectly normal, eating habits are perfectly normal, binkies and bunny 500s, no lethargy, no weight loss, no sleep pattern changes, no redness in nose/mouth, no discharges, no sneezing, no tooth grinding, no signs of pain. Both are altered with no sign of cancer and both were checked by a vet within the last 6-8 months (full checkup for their spay/neuter and Stickers had the UTI so she got a slightly less thorough one 3 months ago + a round of baytril). I am with them all but the 9 hours between going to bed / letting them out, so the vet gets a thorough observation every time I talk to him. lol Luckily I have a vet that doesn't mind my obsessive behavior.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/07/2012 3:44 AM
I'm kind of with you on this Stickerbunny - something weird just set them off and you may never ever know at this point since most of the time, it's hard to see things from their point of view.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
3456 posts Send Private Message
2/07/2012 7:52 AM
That it is - especially her point of view - my boyfriend calls her feral lol she's one of those diva buns with major rabbitude and was abused/neglected so has emotional issues on top of it. o.O I'm pretty sure it was the bird cage that started it, since she was grunting/charging me when I got near it afterwards, but why she suddenly got territorial over it after so long I have no idea! Better safe than sorry though, so i'll give them a call after lunch.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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2/07/2012 11:54 AM
Posted By Monkeybun on 02/05/2012 01:56 PM
A sudden change in behaviour like that leads me to think maybe a vet visit could be in order. Bonds usually don't break like that. Maybe one or the other is sick.

Ditto. 

It's almost like she's not recognising him. I believe they rely heavily on smell so maybe something is a bit off with him that's changing how he smells?

When things settle a little you could try a car ride or putting them in a washing basket and walking around with it. If you think that would help them rely on each other for comfort... Though, if you're saying Powder freaks in confined places and she becomes aggressive, I'm not certain if it would be the right approach .  IDK, play it by ear I suppose.

 


User is Offline Stickerbunny
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2/09/2012 6:51 AM
Well, both are healthy, though there is some suspicion about Stickers eye sight - so if she goes off mainly smell, I guess something could have gotten on him to make him smell different... he was sitting in botanical hay which was newly introduced to them, but that is the only thing I can think of that smells much. *shrug* She was around him last night without trying to attack, but she was marking like he was a complete stranger to her. She's been letting me give her the night time groomies that Powder used to and been more friendly since she kicked him out, Powder has been a lot more active / acting happier. Both are 100% on their litter habits again. Neither seem to miss the other at all, they'll sniff at the baby gate, then go do their own thing and ignore each other. They were more interested before they were bonded!

And yeah jersey, confined spaces for them isn't possible - Powder isn't so freaked out in a carrier as a cage (no idea why he makes that distinction) but when I tried it before she went to the back of the carrier and sat shivering and he pressed against the door of the carrier and sat shivering... as far away from each other as they could possibly get and no comfort to each other at all. lol And in an x-pen, basket, cage Powder freaks so bad he starts biting her in his panic.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14626 posts Send Private Message
2/11/2012 8:29 AM
Both are 100% on their litter habits again.

Wow!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > My rabbits broke up? *UPDATE*

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